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Put Screen Time on Hold for the Little Guys

By Sandy Schroeder

You have probably seen those pictures of cute little babies or toddlers clutching cell phones or peering at tablets, but the word from the World Health Organization is a big N-O.

The WHO says screen time for children under 5 should be very limited with none at all for those under age 1. When questioned about the time limitations, WHO representatives said they were trying to confront the expanding amount of sitting time that is happening in the general population.

Sitting Is Rampant

Look around at the general population. Executives, office workers, drivers, travelers, cell phone addicts, computer users, and lab people all sit for many hours every day.  In the evening they sit down again to eat, watch the news or sports, play video games, or read. If they really think about it, they might walk the dog, ride a stationary bike, run on the treadmill or do some mat exercises, but in general they sit a lot in the evening too.

Now look at your kids' day. They sit at desks, use computers and phones, and go home to play video games, use tablets or watch TV and sit some more.

WHO advises confronting this issue as early as possible by limiting screen time.

See the Flip Side

More research will be done to see how early use of screens and increasing screen time impacts children and adults, but it might be useful to remember what you did as a kid. Think of some of the things your kids will miss if screen time swallows up more and more of their life.

Will they still find time to ride bikes, run to the park, hike and camp on the weekends or play basketball, soccer or volleyball?

Also consider how little about the world that young children know. Absorbing the beauty and sheer exhilaration of being outside, learning how to cook or bake, completing a scientific experiment, playing with paint, pens or watercolors, or learning to play an instrument are all possibilities if they make the time. If almost everything starts with a screen, instead of hands-on time, how much will be lost?

Balancing Act

Each family is different. You know what works with yours. As your kids explore sports, science, literature, art, theater and music, screens may be one more resource to help them get where they want to go. Just stay focused on them and help them make the most of who they are everything that they do. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Irvine, Calif.

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